It's not your mother's tampon ad. But it's no "Camp Gyno" either.
This Spanish ad for Tampax Pearl, called "This Summer, Get Wet," features a woman in a swimsuit surrounded by male gaze. When one man, for some odd reason, tries to grab a tampon out of her beach bag, she turns the tables on him by using his hand to demonstrate the product's ease of insertion. Then she swims away.
Her line is translated as “It’s never been so easy to place it in the right place."
The Local reports that Tampax Spain received complaints about the ad, saying it was “highly sexed” and degrading. In turn Tampax claims it carried out its own research, which found "98 percent denied it was denigrating to women.”
The source also quotes the advertiser:
“The message we wanted to transmit was that menstruation and tampon usage is something completely normal and natural,” said Tampax in an official statement. “We never intended to give the ad any sexual connotations, we simply wanted to show how easy it is to use.”I'm not buying that. But I would like to hear opinions from women, in Spain and elsewhere, about whether this ad is objectifying, empowering, or both. It's certainly the first time I've ever seen a man's hand used to demonstrate tampon insertion, or indeed the only tampon insertion I've ever seen in an ad.
The woman, by the way, is Amaia Salamanca.